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As Much Cream and Sugar as Possible

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September Twelfth

He’s jailbait. Definitely jailbait. Raven tells herself this repetitively, beating down her emotions every time she goes to order coffee from Penguin Cafe. But it’s not like she can help the way her stomach drops at his easy going smile, or the way her heart seems to find itself lodged in her throat when he calls out her name. Its Raaaveen with him, his Gotham accent drawing out and softening softening his vowels.

Ugh, Raven shakes herself, she's twenty three, and a second year medical student to boot. She does so not need to be crushing on what she’s pretty sure is a high school student. But still, broad shoulders, a cocky grin, and a truly tragic back.


She needs to stop coming here.


September Twentieth

“Medium Passion Pit tea thanks,” Raven orders absentmindedly, scouting a spot to sit in the tiny shop. Today, for once, she doesn’t even have the energy to check out the boy behind the counter. She hands over her change, fingers brushing the boy’s- well Robin’s she supposes, glancing at his name tag. In return, she finds not only a steaming tea, but a wrapped scone being pushed into her hands.

“You look like you could do with something nice,” he says with a wink, “We don’t take inventory on food so…” He trails off, and a blush starts to creep up her neck.

“Ah thanks Robin.” He looks momentarily surprised and the seems to remember himself and grins,

“No problem Raven, Let me know if you need anything,” it’s accompanied with a positively rakish smile, and Raven feels heat pooling in her stomach.

He leans forward of the counter, the buttons of his collared shirt undone just enough to give a slit of his chest - and Raven finds herself setting up her laptop and textbooks as far away from the counter as possible.


September Twenty-Ninth

Raven manages to stay away from her favourite coffee place for a little over a week before she wanders in again, and feels a strange mixture of disappointment and relief as she takes in the barista as she nears the front of the line of customers. It’s young man with a shock of green hair and a name tag that cheerfully reads Gar :).

“Can I get a name for ya?” His voice is cheery at least.

“Raven, and I’ll have a vanilla chai, medium,” she hands over her change with a small smile as her rings her up.

“Bird boy, you’ve got another one, at least try to stay on top of things,” Gar jokingly orders over his shoulder at -fuck. Robin. He runs a hand through his hair and smirks at her,

“Won’t you defend my honour Raven?” Heat pools in her stomach as he pouts.

Raven is definitely going to hell. And if the sly smile Robin gives her as he watches her come up for her drink says anything, it’s that he’s keen on getting her a one-way ticket.


October Eighth

Raven ducks into an empty shop, escaping the torrent of rain pouring from the ever-grey Gotham sky. She’s soaked to the bone and shivering. Being blessed with eternal luck, she just had to miss the five-thirty bus that brings her directly to her apartment on the one day scheduled for a torrential downpour.

“Well don’t you look happy,” a light voice interrupts her thoughts. She blinks, taking in her surroundings, and the boy behind the till. Damn it. This is definitely not the shop in which she meant to wait out the rain.

“Hey Robin,” she sighs, forcing her teeth to stop chattering as she approaches the counter. He’s in a navy blue hoodie today, Gotham City Gymnastics Champion is printed boldly across the chest. It looks nice with his eyes she notes absentmindedly. And then he's pulling it over his head and handing it over to her, and she definitely didn’t feel a jolt of heat as his shirt beneath rides up over his stomach, revealing golden skin thats positively blessed with muscle.

“Bathroom’s to the right,” he mutters, cheeks tinged pink.


Raven’s fingers definitely aren’t shaking as she strips off her soaked shirt in the small bathroom. Her transparent soaked shirt. Her face heats up as she realizes exactly why Robin was so quick to hand over his clothing, and quickly pulls on his sweater over her head. The sweater swamps her small frame, but it’s warm and dry. So there’s no way in hell that she’s going to complain. And there’s the added bonus of his scent, a mixture of a musky cologne and sweet coffee engulfs her as she buries her face in the sleeves of the hoodie. She’s so screwed.

“You can do this Raven,” she coaches, staring herself down in the small mirror on the bathroom wall. She shoves her soaked shirt into her bag and thanks whichever deity let her sleep in too late to put on make-up. She chooses to ignore the fact that sleeping in had also prevented her from checking the weather.

Raven emerges from the bathroom, warmer and slightly more dry, although her leggings are dripping. Robin smiles as she approaches the counter again.

“Thanks for the sweater,” she says, a firm grip on the blush attempting to bloom on her cheeks. He gives her a roguish grin,

“What can I say? I’m a regular knight in shining sweatshirt. Coffee’s on the table for you.” Raven smiles gratefully, and makes herself comfortable, pulling out her laptop. There’s no way she’s going back out until the rain lets up, and she’s got a mountain of work to do.


October Thirteenth

“What are you taking at uni?” The question comes out of the blue, she’s been working away in her favourite spot in the quiet shop for close to an hour after returning Robin's sweater. She blinks away her surprise and turns to face the black-haired boy cleaning the table nearest to her.



October Twenty-First

“Hey, Doc, Garfield’s cut himself in the back room. Do you mind stitching him up?” Robin is surprisingly calm despite the violent shouting coming from the back room. Raven pulls her headphones out of her ears and stands,

“I’m not a doctor yet. But I’ll give it a shot.” She’s so going to regret this. Robin motions for her to follow him, she’s definitely not admiring he way his muscles move beneath his shirt as he leads her behind the counter, opening the storage room door. Raven can’t help but let out a helpless laugh as she peers around Robin to see Garfield sitting in a pile of toppled boxes, clutching his arm.

“I swear, I know how to use a box cutter,” he says, desperation in his green eyes.

“I’m sure you do,” she replies lightly. Robin passes Raven the first aid box as she reaches out for Garfield’s arm.

“Do you have a tetanus shot?” she asks, and then Raven’s doing what she loves most in the world, helping. Once she has Gar stitched up and a definite yes to the tetanus shot, she sighs, looking over to where Robin stands behind her.

“So much more fun than studying,” she confesses to Robin under her breath. He grins at her, slinging an arm over her shoulders. His scent engulfs her as he pulls her flush to his side.

“Where would we be without you?” He’s way too close to be appropriate, his warm breath fanning over her face as he looks down at her. She’s definitely not going to blush.

Nope. Not allowed.

She blushes.

But he supplies her with free coffee for the rest of the evening, so it can’t be that bad, right?


November Sixth

Raven avoids the coffee shop for a solid two weeks this time, but come on, Hell Week is coming up, and she's going to die if she has to study at the library one more time. She loves Kori, but studying with a girl who has to pause every twenty minutes to gossip is a punishment from god, and the isolation booths on the seventh floor are just sad. So Raven finds herself faced with Robin yet again, the bell on the front door tinkling in her wake.

“Raven, it’s been a while. You haven’t been avoiding me have you?” His arms are loosely folded in front of him on the counter, and he wears a roguish grin that was never meant to be put on such an innocent face.

“No, I’ve just had a lot of work to do recently,” he definitely sees through her lie. It’s paper thin, and the way he looks at her screams amusement.

He smirks at her response and lazily asks what she’ll have, drawing out the syllables, So Raaaven, whaatt’ll iyt be toddaaay? It really shouldn’t come across so suggestively, but it does and Raven is going to hell.

“Just coffee with as much sugar and cream as you can.”

“You know I always thought doctors took better care of their health,” He’s smiling again, and she would kill to -now really wasn’t the time

“Everyone has their vices, I guess.” The smirk she gets in response is anything but appropriate.

She pays quickly, and escapes to the far end of the counter to receive her drink. Their fingers brush, and she nearly drops the cup over the look on his face. The story those eyes tell is anything but appropriate. Fuck.

She needs to avoid this place.


November Seventeenth Three PM

Eh, her resolve never lasts long. Yet, this time when she seeks out her favourite coffee shop, it’s blocked off with yellow tape, and surrounded by police vehicles. Officers walk around the scene, shouting orders and taking statements from various handcuffed individuals. Raven leans over the tape and waves down a passing officer,

“Excuse me, could you tell me what’s happening. I usually come here for coffee but,” Raven makes sweeping gesture with her hand, and the officer laughs good-naturedly.

“It’s alright, the place was actually a front for one of the Penguin’s drug cartels. I’ll grab you Detective Grayson, he was undercover on the case,” the officer smiles before running off to collect the detective.

Raven feels horror wash over her. Her favourite coffee shop is a drug front. A freaking drug front. Accepting the partial scholarship to Gotham Medical School over the poverty of affording a place at Jump City Medical School was a mistake, and Raven is definitely inquiring about a transfer. She buries he face in her hands, exasperated.

“Are you the one enquiring about the case?” A smooth, and far too familiar voice asks. Raven lifts her head and stares in awe at the source.

“What the actual fuck?” It's anything but eloquent.

Robin, her stupidly attractive barista stands before her, clothed in a GCPD vest, with a gun strapped to his thigh and all. Raven has to admit, the uniform did wonders for his shoulders.

“Detective Richard Grayson, Gotham City Police Department,” he says with a grin. Raven’s mind is still reeling as she tries to formulate a reply.

“I’m sorry, what?” She gawking, Raven has to admit. Rob- Detective Grayson scratches his neck awkwardly,

“Is there any chance I could convince you to let me explain the situation over coffee?”

“I guess I could let you try, detective,” Raven replies, still in shock. A trademark grin spreads across his face,

“C’mon I know just the place. And Dick is fine”


November Seventeenth Four-Thirty PM

“So you’re not a high school student?” Raven asks as Dick passes her a steaming coffee, emblazoned with a Starbucks logo. He laughs easily, sitting at the table.

"No, I wasn’t even undercover as a high school student, I was supposed to be a third year economy student," he replies, his brow knotted in confusion, "I'm nearly twenty-four, why?" Raven feels a mixture of relief and annoyance at her own stupidity wash over her. She pushes it down as she stands, stalking around the table until she’s looking down at Dick.

“No reason,” she answers, leaning down to meet him and curling a hand around his neck. She waits a moment, her face centimetres away, and then he’s tilting his head up and capturing her lips with his.